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Iranian foreign minister says West is to make choice between nuclear deal and pressure

July 11, 2015, 2:34 UTC+3 TEHERAN
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TEHERAN, July 10. /TASS/. The Western powers of the P5+1 group of international mediators will have to make a choice between a deal or further sanctions against Iran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in Vienna on Friday.

He said the change in the stances of the Western P5+1 countries and excessive demands laid on Iran made the deal next to impossible, so the western power had only two options: to strike a deal or not. He stressed that agreement and pressure could not go in parallel. "They have to opt for one," IRNA quoted him as saying.

He said that it was time the other side demonstrated its political will to sign this agreement. As for Iran, he said his country’s delegation was committed to continue the talks to finally reach a deal that would impose considerable restrictions on its nuclear programme in exchange of abandonment of all anti-Iranian sanctions.

Earlier on Friday, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran [AEOI], Ali Akbar Salehi, said in an interview with the Fars News Agency that Iran and the P5+1 group of international mediators had good chances to strike a final nuclear deal. "There is a high chance for agreement in the Austrian capital," Salehi said, adding he was satisfied with the progress at the nuclear talks in Vienna. "The negotiations are making progress as the two sides are doing their best to narrow down the differences."

However the agency cited diplomatic sources in Vienna, saying that the Western powers had toughened their positions in the recent days and now were raising excessive demands to Iran that were beyond the earlier agreements. "They have started psychological operations and are playing the blame game to make Iran surrender to their increasing demands or wait to be portrayed as the party to blame for the potential failure of the talks," the source in the Iranian delegation to the talks said.

Talks between Iran and the six powers [the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany] have thrice been extended in the past ten days. Originally, it was planned to sign a comprehensive agreement by June 30. Foreign ministers will make another attempt to reach the deal on Saturday.

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